Bul­bring can be big in Ja­pan

Llanelli Star - - RUGBY -

RE­CENTLY re­leased Scar­lets sec­ond row David Bul­bring is to em­bark on a new chal­lenge in Ja­pan.

The South African for­ward will be link­ing up with the Kub­ota Spears in the city of Fun­abashi.

Bul­bring spent three sea­sons with the Scar­lets, mak­ing 79 ap­pear­ances and shar­ing in the PRO12 ti­tle triumph of 2017.

Fol­low­ing his exit last month , there was spec­u­la­tion he might be a tar­get for one of the other re­gions, given he was Welsh-qual­i­fied on res­i­dency.

But no such move tran­spired and now the 6ft 6ins lock will be look­ing to be big in Ja­pan.

The Spears, who play in the coun­try’s Top League, have a his­tory of em­ploy­ing South African play­ers, with Spring­boks star Duane Ver­meulen hav­ing been on their books re­cently, as has in­ter­na­tional squad flanker Lap­pies Labuschagn­e.

Bul­bring joined the Scar­lets in 2016, hav­ing made his name in his home­land dur­ing spells with the Golden Lions, the Southern Kings, the Blue Bulls and twice with the East­ern Prov­ince Kings.

He had pre­vi­ously been part of the South African U20s team who played at the 2009 Ju­nior World Cham­pi­onship.

An ath­letic, ball-carrying lock with good han­dling skills and a force­ful de­fender, the man from Port El­iz­a­beth proved him­self a pop­u­lar fig­ure with the Scar­lets faith­ful.

He played his part in their march to the 2016-17 PRO12 ti­tle, com­ing on as a sub in the vic­to­ries over Le­in­ster and Mun­ster in the semi-fi­nal and fi­nal.

And he was a reg­u­lar starter the fol­low­ing sea­son as they reached the semi-fi­nal of the Cham­pi­ons Cup and the fi­nal of the PRO14.

When I con­tacted the 29-yearold out in South Africa to check on his fu­ture plans, he made a point of say­ing how he had re­ally en­joyed his time at the Scar­lets.

He was one of four play­ers to leave the re­gion at the end of the sea­son just gone.

Fel­low sec­ond row Tom Price is off to Ex­eter, back-rower Will Boyde has linked up with Cardiff Blues and scrum-half Declan Smith is play­ing out in New Zealand.

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